So, as I mentioned, I’m finally catching up: I admit I fell a few days behind in posting because of some ‘minor’ events such as opening night and Christmas – not in actually taking the photos each day, but in physically getting them up on the blog. I’m back in step now, and can say that after a wonderful, memorable Christmas, full of great Spanish wine, food, friends, laughter and family, a great card game was the perfect finish – and I am indeed grateful for that! We started around 1:30 am this morning, and finished at … well, in true Barcelonian style….4:27 am. When in Rome, right?

Back in the ‘old days’ of the Houston Opera Studio, a ferocious game of Spades was always waiting to be played during lunch or dinner breaks, between acts, and often after a show with a good stash of beer on hand – we fellow singers played a mean game of cards, and it seemed to be around the card table that deep friendships were forged. It’s been a few years since I’ve had that particular competitive itch of mine scratched, but when Larry Brownlee (a mean game player and happily visiting us from Hamburg for the big day) pulled out that deck of cards, it was a challenge I could not resist. It really was the perfect finish to a wonderful day.

Here, my younger brother Brian makes a great partner – including bidding one daring hand of “nil” with a solitary King of Spades. We actually made the bid!